This week has been very very long, but somehow it also moved along at a rapid pace. I guess there was just a lot to squeeze into it, starting with Monday night when Trans-Siberian Orchestra blew into town!
I didn't even get the chance to blog about the TSO show. I'll take care of that right now. They were incredible! As usual. But this year, I seriously think it was better than ever before. The technical production end of things just blew me away yet again. This year there were ramps that came down and hovered over the sides while musicians ran up on them and played hanging over the audience below. You had to see it. Plus, it wasn't just a ramp that you saw from below (which was where I was sitting), the bottom had digital lights forming patterns that could be seen from underneath. Crazy!
I don't know how Paul O'Neill comes up with this stuff, but it must have something to do with the fact that the man never sleeps...or rarely sleeps. Adam, the road manager who has worked with Paul for over 20 years said that he just loves to work. That's when you know someone is really actualizing their passion because they just can't quit. Well, as someone who adores TSO, all I have to say is "Thank You!"
The band had a couple of new additions to the pool of talent and they were fantastic. Before the show, Amy the KGON'sider and I were hanging out backstage with the band (I know, I'm blessed) and Al Pitrelli, mentioned something about the new narrator. I gasped and said "Anthony isn't here? But, but..." and I was assured that I would like the new member of the cast. Oh boy did I. Anthony had been part of TSO for 11 years, and he is an actor, and went to pursue other interests, so I'm happy for him. The new narrator is like a rockin' James Earl Jones by the name of Phillip Brandon. Wow! He was seriously amazing.
Al, Tommy, Angus, Andrew, Jane, Caitlin, Jeff Scott Soto and all the others delivered a show like never before. I think Portland gave them 4 standing ovations. The performers said after the show that they were thrilled at the reception we gave them. Of course! We know Portland ROCKS!!!
Next year I hope they go back to doing two shows in Portland on the weekend, but whatever they do, don't pass us by EVER!
Again this year they gave a big check for about $7,500 to the Community Transitional School, plus Paul O'Neill sent $6,000 extra to be used for families of the students to make sure they have a better holiday. I'm sitting here at my desk with tears in my eyes just thinking of how amazing and generous he is. Paul is the real deal. Someone who gives just because it feels good and needs to be done. He didn't do this to be noticed, and I'm probably not supposed to tell this story, but sometimes, I think it's just important to recognize people who do good things. It should make all of us want to be better people.
So, if you missed TSO this year, just know that you missed one amazing show. But there's always next year! Oh, and they are touring this Spring, but will be going to Europe, and other markets in North America that never get the Holiday show. SO, plan to travel if you want Nightcastle, or Beethovan's Last Night.
I think seeing them in Europe in the Spring sounds incredible. Now, to get my flight all set up...